October 7th, 2004, 12:55 AM
Let me clarify a little before this thread get's of topic. I'm not saying that it is definatly an MBR problem, only that if it is caused by some form of residual data thats left over from a previous installation (Which is possible, but not that likely), it would then be most certainly related to the MBR. As far as i'm aware this would be the only place that data could survive a format. That is assuming the computer was completely cold booted to negate any data in RAM, and nothing non-factory was in any removable media (like a floppy).
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October 7th, 2004, 01:16 AM
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October 7th, 2004, 05:49 AM
There could be many issues at hand.
One makes me believe its the Video card. Reason being it locks up on bootup but not in safe mode, see safe mode runs at a different bit rate so less load on video card but when you boot normally there could be card problems.
My next thought would be memory dump
if you check the dump file you might be able to determine if its memory fault
My last Idea is power issue, was there any new hardware added to this box or is it still stock?
See I don't really believe you have a hacker issue or a virus/ worm issue unless it was a boot virus like monkey http://www.computerhope.com/monkey.htm but this is somewhat impossible to get these days with virus protection installed.
I also don't believe its a software issue unless the SP2 packet found a bad key and now locks you out (unlikely) but possible.
I have had issues before with bad motherboards where I was able to install w2k but when I tried to install the updates it locked up. Older P3 833Mhz junk
But this is the joy of being a Information Technology Specialist, rip it apart and test new hardware to see if this is a hardware issue, (not that hard to change an AGP card or RAM if you have it) and if its not the hardware go thru the motions again installing the OS
1. format HD using dos disk A:\ format C:
2. incert XP CD and Reboot
3. choose to reformat HD with XP disk and choose NTFS format
4. install your AV and FW before connecting to internet
5. update AV and FW and then the OS
6. choose to make a Restore point at this time.
7. continue to add other personnal software.
Now you may be asking yourself why did I format using a DOS disk and then again with the XP disk. well for one I wanted to be sure you are playing with a clean slate and two it doesnt hurt to format more than once. also sometimes when you format with the XP disk you wont have to reboot and if there is a HImem virus then your efforts are all for nothing. HImem is a location on your Memory where other 32 bit programs are stored and its also a great place for a polymorphic virus to sit.
So check it out and tell your clients that password protect next time. also look into a password reset disk. you can make one using the XP disk or there should be a linux version somewhere on the internet http://www.petri.co.il/what's_the_password_reset_disk_in_windows_xp.htm